The Israeli occupation destroys a cistern and confiscates water pipes in the Jordan Valley

The Israeli occupation destroys a cistern and confiscates water pipes in the Jordan Valley


  • Violation: destruction of a water cistern and confiscation of water carrier lines.
  • Location: Northern Jordan Valley.
  • Date: 4 July, 2018.
  • Perpetrator: the Israeli occupation army.
  • Victim: Farmers and livestock breeders in the said area


The water crisis affecting the northern Jordan Valley is one of the main obstacles that face the development of rural areas. The Israeli occupation constantly seeks to reduce the water resources available to the Palestinians in the said area under the pretext of the lack of water resources and lack of rainfall at times, let alone the argument of the occupation authorities that there is theft of water by some Palestinians through illegal channels according to their resources.

Regarding the latest update on this subject, the Israeli occupation forces, accompanied by the so-called building inspector and the Civil Administration organization broke into al-Farisiya area in the northern Jordan Valley in the early hours of Wednesday, 4 July. They, then, proceeded to destroy a mineral water cistern of 200-liter cubic meters. It was built in April 2016 by the Italian Cooperation Foundation (GVC) with funding from the European Union. The cistern came totally destroyed by the Israeli military bulldozer.


Photos 1 + 2: The ruined cistern

Images 3 + 4: Images of what remains after the des
truction of water carrier lines


Probing the details of this violation, Arif Daraghmeh, a human rights activist in the northern Jordan Valley, told the researcher of the Land Research Center: "The cistern project was implemented in early , and it received a stop-work order later in the same year. We followed the process of obtaining a permit through the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center, but the complex conditions prevented the licensing of the cistern. Putting an obstacle to that project was in the priority of occupation and in the circle of their target…

"The main idea of ​​that cistern was to help livestock farmers provide drinking water for their livestock. At least 40 farmers and sheep breeders were to benefit from the project," said Draghmeh. The occupation authorities had prevented farmers from using it and the project organizers had postponed its opening to another notice, until it was recently demolished. "

In the same context, specifically in the area of ​​Saqqoun Plain, northwest of the village of Bardallah in the northern Jordan Valley,  Israeli occupation forces broke into the area with a bulldozer. Israeli soldiers began to dismantle water pipes that were 150 meter long and 6-inch wide. The pipes were then transferred to an army camp close to that area via a special military van.

The Israeli army claims that those pipes were unlicensed and would collect water from random wells. The pipes would provide water for 30 dunums of  land planted with vegetables and owned by the farmers of the Sawafta family there.

Farmer Dirar Sawafta, owner of a piece of land in the Saqun Plain, told the Land Research Center researcher: "The Saqun Plain is a fertile agricultural area that provides income for a large number of farmers living here. Based on a 2013 ruling by the Israeli High Court allowing Palestinians to claim back their land, agricultural projects started to flourish in the area, specifically in the year 2016. 

Sawafta added: "During 2016, a number of water harvesting projects were carried out and water was transferred to the Saqun area, funded by a number of international bodies. Agricultural roads were also opened to serve 2000 dunums in order to encourage farmers to re-cultivate the land and thus develop the area again. There has already been a tendency for many farmers to cultivate the area, encouraging its agricultural development. However, that was frowned upon by the Israeli occupation that aspires to re-occupy the whole area. It embarked on destroying agricultural and water projects there. The dismantled water pipes and destroyed cistern are part of an integrated scheme to target agricultural projects and water resources in order to displace farmers and discourage any agricultural activity there.

The plan to empty the area of its original inhabitants is still on. Indeed, the Israeli occupation seeks to impose its agenda in favor of colonial expansion there to keep the Palestinian farmers victims of those racist schemes and then push them away in the long run.


Prepared by
 The Land Research Center

Categories: Demolition